Tertiary Education Students’ Learning Experience During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Tharani Sree Kondal Rao, Rajalakshmi Ganesan


Online learning is commonly used nowadays for several aspects as an advanced form of learning, through hi-tech gadgets. However, as convenient and efficient it sounds, some students find it difficult to cope with online learning. The goal of the current study is to answer the research questions of “What is experienced by students in an online learning environment?” and “Does online learning environment experience improve/hinders/maintains academic achievements?” via an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). 16 participants were interviewed and the data obtained were analyzed through the IPA, illustrated four superordinate themes which are, the dynamics of online learning, significance of lecturers in quality of online learning, effects of environment of online learning and effects on self, due to online learning. The impact of online learning during the COVID -19 pandemic have indeed impacted tertiary student’s perception of education, their mental health well-being and their academic performance. This highlights the need to develop ways to overcome this situation and ensure quality education can still be delivered and received.

Full Text:



Alias, N., Zakariah, Z., Ismail, N., & Aziz,

M. (2012). E-Learning Successful Elements for Higher Learning Institution in Malaysia. Procedia - Social And Behavioral Sciences, 67, 484-489. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.11.353

Arumugam, T. (2020). COVID19, MCO

force education sector to grapple with technology, virtual classrooms | New Straits Times. NST Online. Retrieved 25 September 2020, from https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/586033/COVID19-mco-force-educationsector-grapple-technology-virtualclassrooms.

Bir, D. (2019). Comparison of Academic

Performance of Students in Online Vs Traditional Engineering Course. European Journal Of Open, Distance And E- Learning, 22(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.2478/eurodl-2019-0001

Cho, Y., Choi, H., Shin, J., Yu, H., Kim,

Y., & Kim, J. (2015). Review of Research on Online Learning Environments in Higher Education. ScienceDirect. Retrieved 8 October 2020, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042815029018.

Dhawan, S. (2020). Online Learning: A Panacea in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis. Journal Of Educational Technology Systems,49(1), 5-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047239520934018

Elfaki, N., Abdulraheem, I., &

Abdulrahim, R. (2019). Impact of E-Learning vs Traditional Learning on Studen

t’s Performance and Attitude. Ijmrhs.com. Retrieved 29 April 2020, from https://www.ijmrhs.com/medical-research/impact-of-elearning-vs-traditionallearning-onstudents-performance-and-attitude.pdf.

Gautam, P. (2020). Advantages and

disadvantages of online learning. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-online-learning

Gillen-O’Neel, C. (2019). Sense of

Belonging and Student Engagement: A Daily Study of First- and Continuing-Generation College Students. Research In Higher Education, 62(1), 45-71.


Halupa, C. (2016). Risks: The Impact

Of Online Learning And Technology On Student Physical, Mental, Emotional, And Social Health. ICERI2016 Proceedings. https://doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0044

Ismail, N., Razak, M., Zakariah, Z., Alias,

N., & Aziz, M. (2012). E-Learning Continuance Intention Among Higher Learning Institution Students’ in Malaysia. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 67, 409-415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.11.345

Kuong, H. (2015). Enhancing Online

Learning Experience: From Learners’ Perspective. Procedia - Social And Behavioral Sciences, 191,1002-1005. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.403

Nguyen, V. (2017). The Impact of Online

Learning Activities on Student Learning Outcome in Blended Learning Course. Journal Of Information & Knowledge Management, 16(04), 1750040. https://doi.org/10.1142/s021964921750040x

Omar, N., Hassan, H., & Atan, H. (2012).

Student Engagement in Online Learning: Learners Attitude Toward E-Mentoring. Procedia - Social And Behavioral Sciences, 67, 464-475. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.11.351

Paul, J., & Jefferson, F. (2019). A Comparative Analysis of Student Performance in an Online vs. Face-to-Face Environmental Science Course From 2009 to 2016. Frontiers In Computer Science, 1. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomp.2019.00007

Rahman, N., Hussein, N., & Aluwi, A.

(2015). Satisfaction on Blended Learning in a Public Higher Education Institution: What Factors Matter?.Procedia - Social And Behavioral Sciences, 211, 768-775. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.11.107

Shah, A., Safri, S., Thevadas, R., Noordin,

N., Rahman, A., & Sekawi, Z. et al. (2020). COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia: Actions taken by the Malaysian government. International Journal Of Infectious Diseases, 97, 108-116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.05.093

Shukor, N., Tasir, Z., Van der Meijden, H.,

& Harun, J. (2014). A Predictive Model to Evaluate Students’ Cognitive Engagement in Online Learning. Procedia - Social And Behavioral Sciences, 116, 4844-4853. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1036

Tognazzini, L., Zorn, S., & Austin, T.

(2016). Student Mental Health Issues in Online Tourism and Hospitality Education: A Proposed Model to Increase Retention. ResearchGate. Retrieved 4 June 2020, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304306890_Student_Mental_Issues_in_Distance_Education.

Trung, N., Thu, T., & Tan, L. (2012).

Replacing Face-To-Face Classes by Synchronous Online TechnologiesThe HOU Experience. Procedia - Social And Behavioral Sciences, 67, 386-392. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.11.342

Visvanathan, N., Rahman, M. N. A., & Muhamad, A. S. (2021). Psychological Well Being of Adolescents in Selangor, Malaysia. Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, 35(1).

What is Cognitive Engagement | IGI

Global. Igi-global.com. (2020). Retrieved 8 October 2020, from https://www.igi-global.com/dictionary/online-learning-engagement-system-olesdesign-framework-for- postsecondary-online-learningenvironments/33623#~:text=The%20display%20of%20a%20student's,for%20their%20overall%20learning%20experienc


  • There are currently no refbacks.


The editors and publisher of Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia have made every possible effort to verify the accuracy of all information contained in this publication. Any opinions, discussions, views and recommendations expressed in the article are solely those of the authors and are not of Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, its editors or its publisher. Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, its editors and its publisher will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.